Lady Bulldogs defeat Lincoln Charter in opening round of NCHSAA 1A Volleyball Playoffs, will host East Surry on Thursday.
Murphy – The seventh-seeded Murphy Lady Bulldogs (14-0) continued their undefeated season on Tuesday night, sweeping the tenth-seeded Lincoln Charter Lady Eagles in straight sets by scores of 25-20, 25-11 and 25-15.
The Lady Bulldogs jumped on Lincoln Charter from the start, opening the match with hard hitting and jumping ahead to an early 9-5 lead.
Lincoln Charter refused to go down easily, rallying back at the end of the set with some hard hitting of its own and whittling away Murphy's lead to just three points at 23-20.
Murphy senior Grace Nelson quickly put an end to the Lady Eagles' momentum, bringing the Lady Bulldogs to a 24-20 game-point with a resounding kill that froze the Lincoln Charter defenders, then ending the set for Murphy with a well-placed tip that caught the defense off-guard.
The Lady Bulldogs continued their momentum into the second set, where their front-line defense took control of the match. Junior Torin Rogers, along with Nelson and sophomore Olivia Payne, shut down the Lincoln Charter offense at the net, blocking multiple kill-attempts by the Lady Eagles and spiking down errant passes by Lincoln Charter that floated over the net.
"I felt like Torin really stepped up," Murphy coach Nikol Edwards said. "She knew she was going to have to block and really step up with their hitting game and she did. She's been tipping the ball a lot lately so we worked on her hitting and I feel like she stepped up big time."
The Lady Bulldogs closed the second set on a 12-4 run, going up two sets to none against Lincoln Charter heading into the third, where Murphy quickly jumped out to a 10-3 lead. After closing out the third set and downing Lincoln Charter, the Murphy volleyball team stayed behind at the school to watch a stream of the match between Cornerstone Charter and East Surry, which the Lady Bulldogs would be facing the winner of in the second round on Thursday.
"I feel like we're playing well, but you can always play better," Edwards said. "There's things we still need to work on, there's still things that we have to do. Because we're not going to play easy teams, especially with the way the playoffs are this year. No game is going to be an easy win, we just have to play our game."
Murphy got their wish, as the lower-seeded East Surry team defeated Cornerstone Charter, meaning that the Lady Bulldogs will be hosting 15-seeded East Surry at home on Thursday in the second round of the playoffs as opposed to traveling all the way out to Cornerstone Charter in Greensboro.